In the CCTV footage below, you see 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem approach the female officer from behind. The attack occurred this past Saturday at Orly Airport in Paris. According to AP, the man had a flask of gasoline in the shopping bag that he dropped just prior to holding the female officer hostage with a revolver filled with birdshot. The entire incident lasted less than 3 minutes and while using the officer as a shield, Belgacem said he wanted to “die in the name of Allah and whatever happens there will be deaths.”
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference on Saturday evening that at the airport, Belgacem yelled he wanted to die in the name of Allah and said “whatever happens, there will be deaths”. – The Independent
Belgacem demanded the other two officers place their weapons on the ground. He attempted to grab her duty weapon, and she was able to drop to the ground giving the other two police officers a clear line of sight to take down the attacker. Ziyed Ben Belgacem is a known criminal with a history of assault, drug charges, and thefts. They found drugs, a machete, and foreign currency at his residence following the attack.
Reuters quoted Paris prosecutor Francois Molins from a recent press conference:
Molins said the assailant, who tried to grab the woman’s Famas assault rifle, seemed bent on carrying out a serious attack.
“Given the violence that is shown in the (CCTV) pictures … you sense that he was determined to go through with it,” Molins told a news conference. “Everything leads one to believe he wanted to seize the Famas so that there were deaths and then to fire at people.”
On his body, police found a Koran and 750 euros in cash. At his home, they found several grams of cocaine, a machete and some foreign currency, Molins said.
Prosecutors are investigating a number of terrorism-related offences, including attempted murder.- Reuters
French officials have not released information regarding the possible terror investigations of Belgacem yet.